The Geopolitics of Energy & Terrorism
Table of Contents
[+Germany’s Defeat by the Turkish Islamists and +]
The following chapters are independent essays that were written between July 2015 and February 2016. They appear in random order, and therefore they do not have to be read in the order they appear.
The issue in all the essays is the connection between the energy policies of various countries, their foreign policies, and the wars that break out at various parts of the globe, since all three are closely related. I describe many economic interests and many alliances in my essays. But alliances change and so do economic interest. Therefore what is more important for the reader is to have an idea of the global resources i.e. oil and natural gas in my essays, because global resources change at a much lower pace than economic interests and economic alliances.
The alliances and conflicts I describe in my essays might not exist in the near future, but if you have an idea of the global resources you will be able to see the alliances and the economic interests that will exist in the future.
[_ _]Germany VS France Vs Russia
A great picture of Europe which nicely summarizes what I have been recently saying. It shows the Alps, the natural fence that protects Italy from the rest of Europe. Above the Alps you can see the fertile corridor, the low lands, which connects France and the end of the European part of Russia at the Ural Mountains. After the Uran Mountains the Asian part of Russia begins i.e. Siberia.
Until 1871, when Germany was created, France and Russia were the two great powers, sitting at the two ends of this fertile and easily accessible corridor, which bypasses the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains.
Before Germany was created in 1871, France and Russia were looking at each other very uneasily. Napoleon Bonaparte led the French Army to Russia in 1812. When Germany was created in 1871, there was a new great power in the neighborhood. Now the French had to worry about the Germans, the Russians had to worry about the Germans, and the Germans had to worry about both the French and the Russians.
In the First World War, in 1914, the French and the Russians united against the Germans. In the Second World War, in 1939, the Germans rushed to unite with the Russians against the French. Only when Hitler broke the Nazi-Communist alliance in 1941, the Russians united again with the French. After the Second World War, the European Union was created, with the hope that France and Germany would never go to war again. France even agreed to the unification of Germany, on the condition that the common currency, the euro, would be created.
The common currency, actually the printing of more of the common currency, would act as an automatic transfer of resources from Germany to France, so that the German economy would stop embarrassing the French one. Today there is a clash between France and Germany, with France asking for more and more printing of new currency, which basically is a German subsidy to France, and Germany always denying to do so, but giving in at the end, but not for the amount that France had originally asked for.
There is therefore a constant bargaining between Germany and France, and there is a fear that at some point France will insist on receiving from Germany a subsidy, in the form of printing of new money, that the Germans will not accept, and that this will lead to the break of the Eurozone. In case the Eurozone breaks, Germany has a plan B in order to confront France, and that plan B is Russia, with whom Germany has been cultivating tighter and tighter economic ties. France’s plan B was to join NATO in 2009, 43 years after the French national socialist leader De Gaul withdrew France from the alliance in 1966. With NATO’s help, France is hoping to face Germany and Russia in Europe, and also face China in Africa. Given France’s tradition in national socialism and communism, and given France’s anti-Americanism, this must have been a tough, but necessary, decision.
Now we have to wait and see how things turn out in this historic corridor that starts in France and ends in Russia, passing through Germany. This is a corridor that both Napoleon and Hitler decided to cross in the 19th and the 20th centuries, with catastrophic results for both.
A great book about the clash between France and Germany for the Euro is “The Tragedy of the Euro” by Philip Bagus. You can get a free copy of the book at the following address.
Russia VS Siberia
A very interesting article by Newsweek, titled “The Separatist Threat to Putin’s Mother Russia From the East”, July 2015, about the relations between Moscow and Siberia. Siberia is a Russian territory that extends from the Ural Mountains to the Pacific Ocean. See first map.
According to Newsweek the Siberians feel neglected, and they believe that Moscow does not really care about a region that is so rich in resources. In 2012 Siberia contributed 130 billion rubbles to the Russian tax revenues, but during the same period the Russian state only invested 10 billion rubbles in Siberia. Siberia constitutes 77% of the Russian land, but only 40 from the 140 million of the Russian population leaves in Siberia. As early as 1892 the Siberians raised the issue of autonomy, saying that Russia has treated Siberia as a colony.
According to Newsweek the Siberians are very disappointed with Putin’s increasingly centralized policies that remove power from the Siberians towards Moscow. In 2011 a pro-Siberian rally was organized in Siberia asking for Siberia’s autonomy, and the slogan was “Stop Feeding Moscow”. The Siberian youth increasingly use the expression “I am Siberian”. In August 2014 a pro-Siberian demonstration was organized, but it was banned by the Russian government and many from the organizers were arrested.
I must also add that Siberia is very rich in oil and natural gas. As you can see at the following map from an article of the Energy Information Administration, titled “Russia looks beyond West Siberia for future oil and natural gas growth ”, September 2014, West Siberia holds 62% of the Russian oil reserves, East Siberia holds 6%, and the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in East Siberia hold another 4% of the Russian oil reserves. Please note that Russia and Japan argue about their exclusive economic zones in the Pacific Ocean. Moreover West Siberia holds 89% of the Russian natural gas reserves, East Siberia holds 1% and the coasts of the Pacific Ocean in East Siberia hold another 4% of the Russian natural gas reserves as you can see at the EIA map. See map 2.
One could imagine that an independent Siberia would be good for the European and American interests, but this is not true at all. An independent Siberia would be in very bad terms with Russia and the Russian oil and natural gas would be blocked from reaching Europe. Under this unlikely scenario China would emerge as Siberia’s patron. The Europeans and the Americans are far away from Siberia. Also note that the two natural gas pipelines that were agreed between the Russians and the Chinese in 2014, the Altai Pipeline and the Power of Siberia Pipeline, would use natural gas from West and East Siberia. See picture 3
It might sound strange but the American, the European and the Russian interests are closely aligned. The Americans were hoping that Russia would become a democratic country which would supply Europe with oil and natural gas, in order to decrease Europe’s dependence in the Middle East and the Caspian Sea. Moreover Russia could protect Europe so that the Americans could concentrate on their main geopolitical rival i.e. China.
But Russia would need to be second in the hierarchy, because Russia was never a democratic country. If at some point Russia becomes a democracy, like the other countries of the European Union, then she could become the number one in Europe. But until Russia can prove that she has been transformed to a democracy, she has to accept American leadership. Because there is simply no other way that things can be done.
Unfortunately Putin is taking Russia back where she was under the communism. Except that Putin is using a national socialist model instead of a communist one, because he needs to use Slavism and Christianity in order to push the Russian energy policy in Eastern Europe and the Balkans. The Russian communists banned religion because at the time Russia had the rich in oil and natural gas countries of Central Asia under her control i.e. Kazakhstan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan.
These countries are Muslim countries and the Russian communists banned religion so that the Arabs, the Turks and the Iranians could not use Islam to exert influence over their populations. But now Russia dos not have these countries, and Putin needs Slavism and Christianity to promote his policies in East Europe and the Balkans.
For the Newsweek article see
Poland in a Possible Franco-German War
As you can see at the following map, Poland is the only way that can be used by a large European army, in order to march towards Russia, or by a large Russian army in order to march towards Europe. See map 1.
The green area in Northern Europe is called the Northern European Plain, and it is a corridor that can be used by an army in order to avoid the Alps and the Carpathian Mountains. See map 2.
The Northern European Plain is basically a gateway to Russia and a gateway to Europe. That’s the route used by Napoleon the Great in 1812, when he decided to invade Russia. That’s the reason that under the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939 the Nazis and the Communists agreed that Russia would take half of Poland, and also Lithuania, Estonia, Latvia and Finland. See map 3.
It was necessary for Russia to control Poland, Lithuania, Latvia and Estonia, in order to be able to protect her borders from Germany. You can see from map 1 that once the Northern European Plain is passed, a much larger corridor can be used by an army, in order to reach Russia. That corridor increases from 500 kilometers to 5.000 kilometers, making it much harder for a Russian army to protect the Russian borders. That’s why Hitler had to allow Stalin to control half of Poland, together with the Baltic States and Finland, in order to lure him into a deal. In September 1st 1939 the Nazis marched into Poland, and in September 17th of 1939 the Communists marched into Poland too.
However when Hitler decided that the oil that was sent to Germany by Stalin was not enough, and he decided Germany had to take control of the oil of Baku in the Caspian Sea, the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact was not enough to save Stalin, because the Russian army did not manage to stop the Germans in Poland. The Russians managed to stop the Russians in Stalingrad, a long way down the road. During this war England and the US were constantly supplying the Russians with arms through the Middle East, which was under the allies’ control. See map 4.
Because of her great geostrategic importance, in the past Poland has been destroyed many times, and that’s why the Polish people are pro-Americans, and they do not trust neither the Germans nor the Russians. When the Germans and the Russians agreed on the construction of the German-Russian natural gas pipeline, the Nord Stream Pipeline, which would connect Russia to Germany through the Baltic Sea, the Polish were very worried.
A Polish minister publicly criticized this agreement, and compared it to the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact of 1939, as you can read at the following article from the German Spiegel, titled “Indirect Hitler Comparison: Polish Minister Attacks Schröder and Merkel”, May 2006. Today, like in 1939, the Russians supply the Germans with energy, and the Germans supply the Russians with manufactured goods. And given how autocratic Russia has become under Putin, no one can say that the Polish people are worrying too much, or without a good reason. In an effort to make things worse, Putin defended the Molotov-Ribbentrop Pact in 2011, as you can read at the following article from the Financial Times, titled “Putin’s defence of Soviet-Nazi pact ramps up security tensions”, November 2014.
The problem is that the following situation has arisen in Europe. In order to allow the unification of Germany, France required a common currency, in order to make sure that the German economy would not be able to run much faster than the French one. The French can use the printing of new euros, in order to basically buy German goods for free. For an excellent description of the struggle between the French and the Germans for the euro see “The Tragedy of the Euro” by Philip Bagus. You can get a free copy at the following address.
The problem is that if at some point the Germans are tired of subsidizing the French, the eurozone might brake, and that could lead to the brake of the European Union too. Under such a scenario a world war could not be ruled out, with Germany siding with Russia and China, and France siding with the US and England. Poland knows full well that under this a scenario, the first thing that the Germans and the Russians would do, would be to consolidate Poland, in order to block NATO access to Russia. The Polish constantly ask from NATO as much military support as possible, in order to be able to stop a potential Russian attack, but they know that if they were to find themselves between the Russians and the Germans they would have no chance.
As you can see in map 1, the other route that NATO can use to reach Russia, Poland excluded, is Finland and the Baltic States i.e. Lithuania, Estonia and Latvia. That’s why Putin warned that if Finland ever decides to join NATO the Third World War might brake out, as you can read at the following article of Norway Today, titled “Russia warns Finland against joining NATO”, June 2014. Maybe Finland is for Russia even more important than Poland, because if a world war brakes out Poland will find itself encircled between Russia and Germany, which is not the case with Finland.
Please note that the map of Europe in 1939 was different from the one today, as you can see in map 5.
For the Spiegel article see:
“Indirect Hitler Comparison: Polish Minister Attacks Schröder and Merkel”, May 2006
For the Financial Times article see:
“Putin’s defence of Soviet-Nazi pact ramps up security tensions”, November 2014
For the Norway Today article see:
“Russia warns Finland against joining NATO”, June 2014
[*Germany’s Defeat by the Turkish Islamists *]
and the Greek Communists
In the first eleven months of 2015 Germany received four times more immigrants than she did for the whole 2014. In the first 11 months of 2015 Germany received 965 thousands immigrants. See Guardian “Germany on course to accept one million refugees in 2015”, December 2015. That’s more impressive when one takes into account that in 2014 Germany was already attacked by the Italian Prime Minister Mateo Renzi, who came to power in February 2014, and opened the Italian borders, sending hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Germany.
However that was nothing when compared to what the Greek communists and the Turkish Islamists did to Germany in 2015. When the Greek communists came to power in January 2015 they made an alliance with the Turkish Islamists and they completely destroyed Germany. The Greek communists completely reversed the immigration policy of the previous center-right government, basically inviting immigrants from all over the world to enter Greece. See the following table from the United Nations, which shows the dramatic rise in immigration inflows that followed Renzi’s rise to power in 2014, and the explosion that followed the rise of the Greek communists in 2015.
The Italians and the Greek socialists do not want to introduce reforms and transparency in the Italian and Greek public sectors, something required by the Germans in order to give them more money, and they are sending hundreds of thousands of immigrants to Germany, asking for more concessions in return for controlling immigration. Turkey, a German enemy, through her alliance with the Greek communists of SYRIZA, has already managed to gain 3 billion euros in order to control immigration, and also to unfreeze the negotiations for Turkey’s entrance in the European Union.
Image 1 United Nations – Immigration 2008-2015
Image 2 United Nations – Greece and Italy 2015
“Germany on course to accept one million refugees in 2015”, December 2015
UN Refugee/Migrant Emergency Response – Mediterranean
England VS ISIS (Jeremy Corbyn)
I have mentioned many times England’s cooperation with Qatar in the energy sector. England imports from Qatar huge quantities of liquefied natural gas, and Qatar is also heavily investing in England. Therefore Qatar has significant influence over British politics. See for example Financial Times “UK warned over dependence on Qatar gas”, January 2012, and the Guardian “How much of London is owned by Qatar’s royal family”? , January 2014.
It is true of course that Russia has a lot of influence over British politics too, because the Russian oligarchs heavily invest in England too, and England and Russia are also cooperating in the energy sector. See for example New York Times “London’s Laundry Business”, March 2014, and the Independent “Gas imports from Russia’s Gazprom giant to soar after new Centrica deal”, May 2015.
Qatar, an Islamist country, is buying political influence all over Europe, but it has a preference for left parties which do not hesitate to promote illegal immigration in Europe. Therefore a large part of the European left shows a lot of support for Qatar and its ally Turkey. Turkey is one of the countries that are very friendly towards ISIS, because she buys oil from ISIS. See for example Financial Times “Isis sells smuggled oil to Turkey and Iraqi Kurds, says US Treasury”, October 2014. Actually the Russians say that the son of Turkey’s President Tayip Erdogan i.e. Bilal Erdogan, is doing business with ISIS. See for example “Ankara’s oil business with ISIS”, November 2015.
Now Russia and France are bombing ISIS in Syria, and the center right British Prime Minister David Cameron wants England to also participate in the military operations against ISIS. Naturally a large part of the European left gets very upset with the idea of bombing ISIS. Jeremy Corbyn, the new leader of the British Left, and leader of the opposition, is really against the idea of Britain bombing ISIS. But many members of his party are revolting against him and are openly supporting the Prime Minister David Cameron on the subject of ISIS. See Independent “Air strikes in Syria: Jeremy Corbyn faces Shadow Cabinet revolt over his opposition to British military action”, του Νοεμβρίου 2015.
This is great news because it can help curb communist propaganda which is rampant in Europe and the US. According to communist propaganda ISIS was created by the West. But if the West decides to cooperate against ISIS, communists will have to revolt against such decisions, like Jeremy Corbyn is currently doing. Therefore the unsuspecting and innocent voters who are subjected to communist propaganda will be surprised to see the west ready to bomb ISIS, and the European communists, who accuse the West for creating ISIS, actually protecting ISIS.
Moreover, many innocent European voters believe that European communists are still working with Russia, as was the case before the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1991. Things will become clear for them because Russia will be one of the leading countries fighting ISIS, and the European communists will be the ones who will be trying to protect ISIS.
“Air strikes in Syria: Jeremy Corbyn faces Shadow Cabinet revolt over his opposition to British military action”, του Νοεμβρίου 2015
“UK warned over dependence on Qatar gas”, January 2012
“How much of London is owned by Qatar’s royal family”? , January 2014
“London’s Laundry Business”, March 2014
“Gas imports from Russia’s Gazprom giant to soar after new Centrica deal”, May 2015
“Isis sells smuggled oil to Turkey and Iraqi Kurds, says US Treasury”, October 2014
“Ankara’s oil business with ISIS”, November 2015
Chile VS Argentina
I was talking yesterday about the Anglo-Argentinean conflict over the Falkland Islands. Among other things, the Falklands allow the English to have claims over the South Ocean and Antarctica, which is the least explored continent on earth. At the following map you can see the South Ocean and Antarctica.
As you can read at the following Guardian article, titled “China eyes Antarctica’s resource bounty”, November 2013, China eyes Antarctica, which will be the 3rd richest continent in oil reserves, if the estimates about 200 billion barrels of oil prove to be true.
Besides her conflict with England, Argentina has territorial disputes with Chile, for the Picton, Lenox and Nueva islands i.e. the Beagle Conflict. Argentina and Chile almost went to military conflict over these islands in 1978, and that’s the reason that Chile supported England during the Falkland War. The conflict between Argentina and Chile started in 1904, when Argentina questioned Chile’s control over the islands. The islands are located under the Tierra del Fuego (Land of Fire).
You can see the Land of Fire at the following map. Her western part belongs to Chile, and her eastern part belongs to Argentina. The aforementioned islands allow their owner to have claims over the South Ocean and Antarctica.
There are main conflicting claims over Antarctica.
For the Guardian article see
“China eyes Antarctica’s resource bounty”, November 2013
For the Beagle Conflict see Wikipedia “Beagle Conflict”
The Beagle conflict was a border dispute between Chile and Argentina over the possession of Picton, Lennox and Nueva islands and the scope of the maritime jurisdiction associated with those islands that brought the countries to the brink of war in 1978.
[_The Beagle conflict is seen as the main reason for Chilean support to the United Kingdom during the Falklands War of 1982. _]
The conflict began in 1904 with the first official Argentine claims over the islands that have always been under Chilean control.5:§164 The conflict passed through several phases: since 1881 Chilean islands, since 1904 disputed islands, direct negotiations, submitted to a binding international tribunal, direct negotiations again, brinkmanship and settlement.
India VS China
The 46 billion dollars that China will invest in the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor include the investment for the Chinese naval base in the Pakistani port of Gwadar at the Indian Ocean. The Chinese naval bases in the Indian Ocean will make China a two ocean super power, and will allow her together with her ally Pakistan to encircle India.
India on the other hand is trying to respond by encircling China with her defense cooperation with Vietnam, Indonesia, Australia, Japan and South Korea.
Map 1 India VS China
India also has the advantage that she has not broken her alliance with Russia, her traditional ally since the Soviet era, even though India has greatly improved her relations with the US in order to face China as a common rival. Therefore it would be difficult for Russia to intervene in the Chinese-Indian rivalry, while this is not the case for the United States, because China and the United States are confronting each other at the South China Sea.
China claims most of the South China Sea for herself. The Malacca Straits at the South China Sea are considered as one of the most important energy choke points in the world, since a huge amount of energy and tradable goods pass from it every day.
Map 2 Energy Choke Points
“The Keys to Closer India-Japan Ties After Abe’s Successful Visit”, January 2016
“India’s Strategic Vietnam Defense Relations”, November 2014
“India, Indonesia to Cooperate on Maritime Security, Defense Procurement”, August 2015
“Australia, India step up defence ties”, September 2015
“Pakistan hands management of strategic Gwadar port to China”, February 2013
“South Korea and India to boost defence ties, infrastructure finance”, May 2015
Egypt VS Ethiopia
Since the ancient times, the Egyptians had the fortune to be protected by their deserts, and they had the misfortune to leave in their deserts, because Egypt is located in Sahara, the largest desert of the earth. See maps 1 and 2.
The life of the Egyptians, their history and civilization, lies within a few miles from the river Nile, and it is said that if the Nile was to stop sending its waters to Egypt, everyone would have to leave the country. The Nile is considered to be the longest river in the world, it discharge in the Mediterranean Sea, and it has two major tributaries, the White Nile and the Blue Nile. The White and the Blue Nile unite at Khartum, which is Sudan’s capital. See maps 3 and 4.
Due to Egypt’s dependence on the Nile, the British had asked all the countries crossed by this river to sign an agreement, which gave Egypt the right to veto the construction of any projects over the Nile i.e. dams etc. The agreement also allocated Egypt 48 of the 84 billion cubic meters of Niles waters each year. See the article of the center left American think tank, Brookings Institute, titled “The limits of the new “Nile Agreement””, April 2015.
As expected, the other countries crossed by the Nile are not very happy and they question Egypt’s privileges over the Nile. In recent years there was a high possibility of a military conflict between Egypt and Ethiopia, because Ethiopia and China want to construct a huge dam in the Nile, in order to produce huge amounts of hydroelectric power. Ethiopia would use this energy for herself, but also export it to her neighbors. As you can read at the following BBC article, titled “Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign deal to end Nile dispute”, March 2015, Egypt, Sudan and Ethiopia signed an agreement about the construction of the dam. I do not know details about the agreement, but I guess Ethiopia agreed to provide Egypt and Sudan with some of the electricity that will be produced by the Blue Nile.
However the issue is far from over, because as you can read at the Brookings article the three countries have not agreed on the critical issue of how they will share Nile’s waters. With so many countries claiming Nile’s waters, it is sure that the Nile will continue to be a geopolitical hotspot.
For the Brookings article see
“The limits of the new “Nile Agreement””, April 2015
These disagreements over the use of the Nile are not recent and, in fact, have a long history because of these countries’ high dependence on the waters of the Nile. In 1929, an agreement was concluded between Egypt and Great Britain regarding the utilization of the waters of the Nile River—Britain was supposedly representing its colonies in the Nile River Basin.  The Anglo-Egyptian Treaty covered many issues related to the Nile River and its tributaries. Of particular relevance to the present discussion is that it granted Egypt an annual water allocation of 48 billion cubic meters and Sudan 4 billion cubic meters out of an estimated average annual yield of 84 billion cubic meters. In addition, the 1929 agreement granted Egypt veto power over construction projects on the Nile River or any of its tributaries in an effort to minimize any interference with the flow of water into the Nile.
For the BBC article see
“Egypt, Ethiopia and Sudan sign deal to end Nile dispute”, March 2015
(Saudi Arabia VS Iran) and (Egypt VS Turkey)
A very good article from Foreign Affairs about the Saudi-Egyptian alliance. Egypt and Saudi Arabia are trying to jointly establish an Arab military force in order to counterweight the Arabs and the Turks. This Arab force will be mainly based on the Egyptian army and on Saudi funding.
Egypt and Saudi Arabia are the two most important Arab countries, with Egypt being the largest Arab country, and Saudi Arabia being the richest one. However the two countries significantly differ in their foreign policy, and that’s what the article is about. The main problem is that Egypt’s main rival is Turkey, while Saudi Arabia’s main rival is Iran, and this difference make it difficult to coordinate the foreign policies of the two countries.
The Egyptians were very pleased to see the Russians coming to Syria, while the Saudis were very unhappy with the Russian’s move. The reason is that Russia is an Egyptian ally, but Russia is a major competitor of the Saudis in the oil markets. Moreover Russia’s presence in Syria makes things harder for ISIS and Turkey, and that’s good news for Egypt, but at the same time the Russian presence strengthens the Syrian dictator Bashar al Ashad, a major Iranian ally, which is bad news for Saudi Arabia. ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood are mainly supported by Turkey and Qatar, and Egypt has to fight ISIS and the Muslim Brotherhood in Libya, Gaza and the Sinai Peninsula, while the Saudis sometimes cooperate with the Turks against the Iranians.
Therefore Egypt needs the Saudi funding, and Saudi Arabia needs the Egyptian army, and both want to form an Arab military power to counterweight the Turkish and Iranian influence, but the Egyptians focus on Turkey and the Saudis focus on the Iranians, and that causes the foreign policy of the two countries to significantly diverge.
“Last Alliance Standing”, November 2015
* Oil Exports VS Arms Exports*
Below you can see and compare the revenues of the largest arms exporters (New York Times) with the revenues of the largest oil exporters (Statista). You can see that the arms exports are peanuts when compared to the oil exports. The US is the largest arms exporter with 36 billion dollars in 2014, while Saudi Arabia is the largest oil exporter with 246 billion dollars a year. Moreover no arms exporter is willing to sell arms to countries that are not allies, while oil exporters do not give a damn about who is going buy their oil.
Largest Arms Exporters (See New York Times “U.S. Foreign Arms Deals Increased Nearly $10 Billion in 2014”, December 2015)
United States 36 Billion Dollars
Russia 10 Billion Dollars
Sweden 5.5 Billion Dollars
France 4.4 Billion Dollars
China 2.2 Billion Dollars
Largest Oil Exports (OPEC) See Picture 1 from Statista “OPEC* net oil export revenue streams in 2014, by member country (in billion U.S. dollars)”
Image 1 OPEC Oil Revenues 2014 (Statista)
Note that the list with the oil exports only includes OPEC members, and therefore it does not include Russia, Canada, Norway, Mexico who are not OPEC members. Iran is not included either, even though it is a member of OPEC.
OPEC is the international oil cartel, and most oil exporting countries are its members, in an attempt to coordinate and reduce their oil production to boost prices. However it is not always easy for them to coordinate their productions, because each member has a motive to steal a market share from the other members, by agreeing to cut its production but not actually doing.
“U.S. Foreign Arms Deals Increased Nearly $10 Billion in 2014”, December 2015
“OPEC* net oil export revenue streams in 2014, by member country (in billion U.S. dollars)”
* China in Afghanistan*
A very nice article by the German state-owned news agency Deutsche Welle, about China’s role in Afghanistan. According to Deutsche Welle China did not attack the Taliban in Afghanistan on the side of the United States, but she has made great efforts in order for a truce to be reached between the Taliban and the Afghan government. The main reason China is interested in Afghanistan is because she does not want ISIS to get a foothold in Afghanistan, because that would allow ISIS to support the separatists Uyghurs in China’s XinJiang province. As you can see at the following map China and Afghanistan have common borders. Actually the borders of the other Central Asian counties with China are not very secure, and ISIS could also use these countries to enter China.
Map 1 China-Afghanistan
Also note that the Sunni Islamist organization East Turkestan Islamic Movement (ETIM) is operating in XinJiang, and it is mainly supported by Turkey. As you can read at the following BBC article there is tension between Turkey and China over the very large Muslim population of XinJiang. See “China-Turkey relationship strained over Uyghurs”, July 2015.
I have already said that what Turkey really wants is that China heavily invests in Turkey, so that in return Turkey will use her influence over the Uyghurs and ETIM to keep things calm in XinJiang. According to Deutsche Welle many Uyghurs use fake Turkish passports to enter Pakistan and Afghanistan in order to receive military training in the Islamic military camps that operate in these countries, and which are mainly funded with Saudi money according to Deutsche Welle.
I have many times referred to the Arab and Iranian effort to block the TAPI (Turkmenistan-Afghanistan-Pakistan-India) Pipeline, promoted by Turkmenistan and India and supported by the United States. TAPI is for Central Asia what the Trans-Saharan Pipeline is for North Africa, and what the Qatar-Turkey and the Iran-Iraq-Syria pipelines are for the Middle East.
Map 2 TAPI
Deutsche Welle also mentions that the Uyghours believe that China is undermine their religion and culture, and that she also explois their natural resources. As you can see at the following Wikipedia map XinJiang is among the richest, if not the richest in oil region of China.
Map 3 China’s Oil Reserves
The article also mentions that China is promoting peace in Afghanistan due to the 46 billion dollar agreements she has signed with Pakistan for the China Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC), but also due to the 10 billion dollar agreement between China and the Afghan government for the extraction of Afghan copper, which has not materialized until now due to security concerns.
I must also say that Xin Jiang is very important for China because she borders 8 countries, as you can see at the following Britannica map. Since the ancient years and the ancient Silk Roads XinJiang was very important for China, because underneath XinJiang lie the inaccessible and hostile Himalayas and the Tibetan Plateau, which are the natural borders between China and India.
Map 4 XinJiang
Map 5 Himalayas-Tibet
Map 6 Tibet-XinJiang
At the southern part of XinJiang lies the Taklamakan Desert. At the following map I have marked with red the Tibetan Plateau and with black the Taklamakan Desert.
Map 6 Tibet-Taklamakan Desert
At the following Wikipedia map you can see the ancient Silk Roads, and as you can see they pass above the Himalayas and Tibet. The Silk Roads were passing both underneath and above the Taklamakan Desert.
Map 7 Ancient Silk Roads
Map 8 Taklamakan Desert
For the Deutsche Welle article see:
“What does China want from the Afghan peace process”?, January 2016
8th, 9th Paragraph
Siegfried O. Wolf, director of research at the Brussels-based South Asia Democratic Forum (SADF), said the claims by some Chinese sources that Uighur militants use fake Turkish passports to enter Afghanistan and Pakistan to join extremist groups makes Beijing increasingly concerned about the long war in Afghanistan.
“In the Afghan and Pakistani camps, which are heavily funded by Saudi Arabia, Uighurs receive ideological indoctrination as well as military training,” said the analyst.
China has also signed multibillion dollar deals with Afghanistan, some of which involve the extraction of copper from the Mes Aynak mine in Logar _][_Province – believed to be worth $10 billion. State-owned company China Metallurgical Group Corporation acquired the extraction rights of the mine in 2007 for $3.5 billion (2.6 billion euros), but the project has never actually kicked off given the deteriorating security situation and poor infrastructure in Afghanistan.
The following chapters are independent essays that were written between July 2015 and February 2016. They appear in random order, and therefore they do not have to be read in the order they appear. The issue in all the essays is the connection between the energy policies of various countries, their foreign policies, and the wars that break out at various parts of the globe, since all three are closely related. I describe many economic interests and many alliances in my essays. But alliances change and so do economic interest. Therefore what is more important for the reader is to have an idea of the global resources i.e. oil and natural gas in my essays, because global resources change at a much lower pace than economic interests and economic alliances. The alliances and conflicts I describe in my essays might not exist in the near future, but if you have an idea of the global resources you will be able to see the alliances and the economic interests that will exist in the future. I.A. 18.2.2016